Pleasant Street from Main Street - This other pretty place.

Pleasant-Street-from-Main-Street_P-03-22-1915_FR.JPG

The view on this card amply illustrates the vibrant commercial scene on lower Pleasant Street in the early 1900's. Shops abounded with offices and apartments above. By the late 1960's however, the character of the city had changed and the rush to "urban renewal" was in full swing. And, as was typical for such redevelopments at the time, the wisdom of a walkable city was cast aside in favor of large, out-of-scale buildings with severely limited pedestrian access.

  . . . this place not so pretty.

. . . this place not so pretty.

In 1974, most of the three, four, and five story buildings on the left side of the street were replaced by a 24-story office building (and its associated parking garage). On Pleasant Street now, that building is flush with the sidewalk and presents only a blank, impenetrable wall. Although other factors were certainly in play at the time, this disregard for the value of street-level connections contributed significantly to the destruction of the streetscape and crippled the commercial potential of lower Pleasant Street.

REFERENCES
(1) Worcester County National Bank Tower

Sent to: Mrs. Mary C. Coopper
Address: New London, NH
My dear Mrs. Coopper: I arrived to Boston last Friday, and after af to visit the city, I came this other pretty place. leaving for Norwich at 3, o'clock. To-morrow I will write you again Yours sincerely.
From: B. G. Luina [??]

  Postmark: 03/22/1915 - Worcester, MA

Postmark: 03/22/1915 - Worcester, MA

THE MYSTERY

  • In this case, the mysteries abound. Clearly, the sender was traveling south, undoubtedly by train, and had been in Boston on March 19th. But what had happened between that date and the sending of this card, and the nature of these two parties' relationship, and why there is no census or local address record of the recipient are all unknown.

THE SENDER

The spelling of the signature on this card is difficult to resolve, but perhaps a sharper-eyed reader could tease out an accurate transcription. In any case, all of the possible letter combinations I could imagine don't result in a spelling that makes sense.

THE RECIPIENT

The Anglo Saxon surname "Coopper" and its many variants is quite common and originally referred to those who made barrels and similar containers. My search for a Mrs. Mary C. Coopper living in New Hampshire has turned up nothing and this particular spelling seems much more prevalent in those living in the southern United States.

THE CARD

Pub. by Henry Freeman & Co., Worcester, Mass.